The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has advised Nigerians, especially youths, to know their HIV status and love wisely as they prepare to celebrate Valentine Day on Feb. 14.
Dr Sani Aliyu, the Director General, NACA, gave the advice in a statement issued by the Head, Public Relations and Protocol of the agency, Mrs Toyin Aderibigbe, in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, since the valentine period is known as a time for young people to express love for one another, they should express such love cautiously, within the context of caring deeply for their loved ones.
Aliyu said that the advice was necessary as only one of six young people know their HIV status in the country.
“New HIV infection is currently highest among young people aged 15 to 24 years.
“It is important to reduce this worrying trend among Nigerian youths by encouraging faithful relationships for those who cannot abstain from sex, and the use of barrier protection such as condoms, which prevent sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and unwanted pregnancies.
“Knowing your HIV status is important for your future health and that of your loved ones.
“As members of the wider society, your health and productivity is vital to the future of our country.
“Love wisely, share love not HIV and get a HIV test today”, the NACA boss said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Valentine’s Day is celebrated every Feb. 14; and is regarded a symbolic day of romance whereby many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special ones. (NAN)